Federal likely to take administrative control of Karachi, Farogh Naseem

Karachi may break away from the provincial government and emerge as a separate administrative unit under the centre as hinted by Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem.

The official disclosed that talks were underway to ask PM Imran Khan to invoke Article 149 of the constitution. Article 149 (4) reads: “The executive authority of the Federation shall also extend to the giving of directions to a Province as to the manner in which the executive authority thereof is to be exercised for the purpose of preventing any grave menace to the peace or tranquillity or economic life of Pakistan or any part thereof.”

The Federal Law Minister stated that there was no need to discuss the matter with Sindh government:  “The Article 149 (4) does not state that Sindh or any government for that matter must be taken into confidence. Federal govt enjoys jurisdiction to issue such executive orders directly.” He denied the claim that the article is against provincial autonomy as it was retained by both Pakistan’s People Party and Muslim League Nawaz, when the 18th amendment to the constitution was passed.

Speaking to Geo News last night, the official stated that it was his personal opinion that Karachi should be under the command of the federal government- the provincial government had ruined karachi. Taking this action was necessary as other measures were all too extreme, he added. He refused to give any specifics about the city’s administration if the Article is passed.

Earlier PM had constituted a 12-member Karachi Strategic Committee headed by Farogh Naseem and inclduding Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar, Director General Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and other members. The move was criticised by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah who complained that he had not been consulted.

The PM’s response on the matter is still pending.